Avatar for Skmom
May 30, 2018 9:36 AM CST
Saskatoon, sk canada
Just wondering if there is any kind of mulch that isn't good to use - as in rubber or coloured wood mulch? Or any kind of mulch is ok to use?
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May 30, 2018 10:29 AM CST
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Butterflies
Garden Sages Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Level 1 Hummingbirder Foliage Fan
That would depend on your definition of "OK." OK for not being toxic to some plants, all plants? OK for not being toxic to people? OK for enriching soil over time? What is your goal for the mulch to accomplish?
The golden rule: Do to others only that which you would have done to you.
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Avatar for Skmom
May 30, 2018 2:05 PM CST
Saskatoon, sk canada
I definitely don't want anything toxic to plants and my main reason for using it is I live in rural Saskatchewan so for keeping the roots moist. I put some of the rubber mulch close to my house because I really like the look of it and I am hosting my sons wedding in our yard this year. Now I have a few other areas that I would like to put down bark mulch and I really like the coloured but as long as it isn't detrimental to the plants/soil in the long run
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May 30, 2018 2:25 PM CST
Name: Deb
Planet Earth (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level
At my dirt store, they offer red bark (fir) or black bark (aged hemlock). Also some sort of nugget stuff I've never tried. I find the red bark fades to a more neutral color fairly quickly, which I like. I think it is slightly less expensive than the black bark, and I don't know if that fades over time as well.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
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May 30, 2018 2:49 PM CST
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Butterflies
Garden Sages Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Level 1 Hummingbirder Foliage Fan
If the color is natural, that's great, but if the mulch is painted, that's gross, in my opinion. There's nothing more worthwhile you could do to improve your soil than to keep it covered with organic matter, whether it's store-bought mulch, or any other organic matter your yard generates.

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Have fun with the wedding!
The golden rule: Do to others only that which you would have done to you.
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The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The 2nd best time is now. (-Unknown)
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May 30, 2018 3:08 PM CST
Name: Cybrczch
SE Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Region: Nebraska Vegetable Grower
A quick search online shows that a lot of folks do not like the colored mulch, citing that it tends to be made from recycled wood, and there is no way of knowing what was used on the wood before it was recycled. The color just makes the different kinds of woods look similar.
I have seen there are 'touch-up' sprays for colored mulches at the big box stores, you could possibly try putting down a light colored (cedar or cypress) mulch and then "spray the gray away", so to speak, if you are set on black or red mulch. Now I'm picturing sports team stencils and doing designs...
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May 30, 2018 3:31 PM CST
Name: Deb
Planet Earth (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level
When I hear the term 'colored mulch' I picture aqua, pink, purple, etc. much like some desert folks tend to do with pebble mulch. My dirt store assured me they don't use any sort of coloring agent, it is just the difference of what tree bark they are using, and they age the black bark to get a deeper color. Which seems counter to my experience of the red bark fading rather than intensifying over time. I only use bark for a couple pathways, and use a black compost mulch for the beds so I like the contrast. Some batches are pricklier on bare feet than others, but over time it softens.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
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May 30, 2018 3:39 PM CST
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4b)
Annuals Native Plants and Wildflowers Keeps Horses Dog Lover Daylilies Region: Canadian
Butterflies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Interesting article from U Mass on coloured mulches:

https://ag.umass.edu/landscape...

Personally I don't like the black because some plants don't seem to like it, I suspect because the black absorbs and then radiates too much heat from the sun. The black does come off on one's hands too.
Avatar for RpR
May 30, 2018 3:41 PM CST
Name: Dr. Demento Jr.
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
Skmom said:Just wondering if there is any kind of mulch that isn't good to use - as in rubber or coloured wood mulch? Or any kind of mulch is ok to use?

What are you using it for.
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May 30, 2018 5:24 PM CST
Name: Connie
Edmonton, Alberta area (Canada (Zone 3a)
Bookworm Plays in the sandbox Peonies Foliage Fan Ferns Dragonflies
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The more natural the better. I would think if they've added color, it will leach into your soil and won't be healthy for the plants. I also don't recommend rock because it could heat up too hot in the sun and cook the roots. Also not good.

I also prefer the large bark mulch because I'm always digging in my flowerbeds adding or moving plants around. I find the large chips are easier to get out of the way or move around where I need them.

And rubber mulch? I just cannot image that can be healthy for the plants. Does it not leach chemicals into the soil?
Last edited by conniepr27 May 30, 2018 5:25 PM Icon for preview
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May 31, 2018 8:12 AM CST
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Butterflies
Garden Sages Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Level 1 Hummingbirder Foliage Fan
My "mulch" isn't store-bought, it's a mix of leaves, contents of mower bag, some pine needles, some sawdust, whatever presents itself, whenever it presents itself. It's not there in regard to its' appearance, but to do a job.

When I have bought mulch, it was always shredded hardwood. I can't imagine anything else being worth buying, assuming the mulch will be expected to achieve the dual goals of enhancing the soil and to help the plants to be as healthy as possible.

There is nothing wrong with having another goal, and to help guide someone toward a goal, others need to know what it is.
The golden rule: Do to others only that which you would have done to you.
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The 2nd best time is now. (-Unknown)
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try! Try to be more valuable than a bad example.
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